U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came under intense pressure by the British authorities on Monday to reveal what stance Washington may choose to take on the dispute over Las Malvinas Islands (the Falklands), local media reported.
On his first foreign trip as Secretary of State, John Kerry was asked by Britons to recognize the result of a so-called referendum next month on whether the islanders want to remain British.
Britain occupied the oil-rich archipelago in 1833 and has since kept a tight hold on it despite strong protest from Argentina, which also launched a failed military offensive to retake the territory in 1982.
London has ironically accused Argentina of “colonialism” in relation to Las Malvinas while it was the UK that formally colonized the Argentinean-owned South Atlantic islands in 1892.
Argentina’s case for ownership of the islands is almost clear to even Britain’s so-called closest ally, the US, and London is finding itself increasingly isolated on the matter.
Britain has been clinging to a single excuse to continue its illegal rule over the archipelago, which is, local residents want it to remain part of Britain.
That claim was seriously undermined when a local resident James Peck gave up his British citizenship to receive an Argentine birth certificate from the hands of the Argentinean president last year.
Kerry, who succeeded Hillary Clinton in President Obama’s second term in office, discussed with William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, the issue of Britain’s row with Argentina over the future of the Malvinas, among other things.
However, in his joint press conference with Hague, Kerry declined to comment on the forthcoming referendum of islanders on whether they wish to remain a UK overseas territory.
He said Washington’s position on the issue had not changed, adding: “We continue to urge a peaceful resolution of this critical issue.”
John Kerry was in Downing Street on the initial stop of an 11-day “listening tour” that will also take him to Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
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